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State Historic Register now lists Hatten Park

Hatten Stadium in New London dates back to 1935. The project was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Work Progress Administration to provide employment to Americans during the Great Depression. File Photo

National Park Service to consider New London site

Hatten Park in New London is now listed on the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places.

The State Historic Preservation Office announced its decision at their Board of Review meeting on Friday, May 24.

The nomination now goes to the National Park Service for a decision to place the park on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last year, the New London Public Museum, Hatten Stadium Foundation, and New London Parks and Recreation Department worked with historic preservation consultant Elizabeth Miller to nominate Hatten Park.

The State Historic Preservation Office awarded the city a Fuldner Heritage Grant to pay for the costs.

“Elizabeth’s hard work, the support from the state, our community, and our partners made this honor possible. Hopefully, we’ll get good news later this summer about the National Register,” Museum Director Christine Cross said. “ What a great thing for New London.”

State Historic Preservation Officer Daina Penkiunas (center) presents New London Parks and Rec Director Ginger Sowle (left) and New London Public Museum Director Christine Cross (right) a certificate recognizing Hatten Park’s listing on the State Register of Historic Places. Submitted Photo

Park history

The Wisconsin Historical Society’s website notes that the wall around Hatten Park was built during the Great Depression in 1935 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration.

According to the society’s website, WPA administrator Harry Hopkins explained the reasoning behind it: “Give a man a dole and you save his body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and pay him an assured wage, and you save both the body and the spirit.”

The WPA employed more than 8 million Americans – about one-fifth of the country’s entire work force. They built 2,500 hospitals, nearly 6,000 schools, 350 airports, 8,000 parks, and hundreds of thousands of miles of roads.

The nomination now goes to the National Park Service for a decision to place the park on the National Register of Historic Places.

To learn more, visit the New London Public Museum where there are exhibits about local history, Native American culture and natural history.

Located at 406 S. Pearl St., the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

Visit [email protected] or call 920-982-8520 for more information.

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